Wednesday, July 20, 2011

IWC - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

IWC Blog 2011Tweets

Plenary opens w UK reform document being presented. This doc supported by entire 27 member EU and USA, Latin America et al

Main issue is requirement that payment of dues be made by wire transfer only. This designed to prevent vote buying corruption.

Left out of reform is expansion of NGO speaking rights, which are far below what prevails in other international fora.

USA delegation chief "disappointed" expanded NGO participation eliminated. Ms Medina also supported financial reforms.

Sandra Bessudo of Colombia spoke in favor of reforms. Brazil and all Latin American nations emerging as strong 4 the whales.

Nevis-St Kitts put on a comical show badgering minute point after minute point to delay proceedings. Lunch Break til 330p.

Why do certain Caribbean nations attempt to prevent passage of regulations that prohibit cash transactions? Answer is: You got it.

All parties committing to adopt UK reforms by consensus. Japan, USA, St. Kitts-Nevis, UK. Main reform is payment be by wire.

UK reforms adopted by consensus. What's missing is allowing added input from civil society or NGOs which have vast expertise.

Session began more than 1/2 hour late. Japan has introduced measure calling it safety on the high seas but aimed at Sea Shepherd.

Brazil offering proposal for South Atlantic whale sanctuary.

Costa Rica speaking in support of sanctuary - also Colombia, USA , Australia.

Ecuador supports sanctuary. UK supports. Remember passage requires 3/4 majority.

India proposes a name change to this organization to “International Whales Commission”. GO INDIA

Russia asking Brazil and Argentia to withdraw sanctuary proposal to save IWC from self destruction. Huh? So voting would destroy the organization??

Iceland opposes but Denmark says it will vote 4 sanctuary. Israel supports. Monaco too. Switzerland wants 2 put vote off

Nevis (surprise) opposes. Calls sanctuary emotional and calls for more study. Portugal and Spain support sanctuary.

Argentina NGO speaking in favor of sanctuary - one of the rare cases where NGOs allowed to speak.

India states indigenous whaling goal should be to reduce quotas systematically & take into account alternative “food resources”. India putting forth great ideas at this IWC.

Big question is if Latin Americans will demand a vote. Facing this conundrum chair, w Brazil assent adjourned 4 coffee.

Back in session. During coffee only 5 nations opposed sanctuary. Russia opposed but said they would favor vote.

There is no consensus. Brazil speaking now. Delegate says no other way but to vote. Latin Americans will not get trampled as they have in past years.

Argentina asks Iceland, St Kitts, Cameroon, Norway 2 respect will of vast majority + agree to consensus on S Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

Japan threatens to “break quorum” if a vote is brought on the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

Breaking quorum wud be outrageous and block vote on the sanctuary. This again shows the despicable nature of Japans whalers.

Ecuador says breaking quorum wud end this years IWC.

Colombia speaking with energy and anger against machinations to defeat ability to vote.

Monaco says breaking quorum to defeat a vote would be a disgrace on the IWC. USA silent on this.

Chairman asks for a vote. Nations opposed to sanctuary walking out of room. Will it break quorum?

Japan leads walk out from the IWC meeting in Isle of Jersey. Broke quorum to avoid vote on sanctuary proposed by Latin Americans

After hours discussing whether 2 vote or not on S American proposal 4 a whale sanctuary we are told we must wait another 90 min

Awaiting return of delegates with the text that'll spell out how IWC will proceed on S Atlantic whale sanctuary.

How can St Vincent and Nevis-St Kitts betray their tourist industry by selling out the whales beloved by tourists. Answer has to do with those suitcases of money that have just been banned.

Commission decided to kick the can down the road and have an intersessional meeting to determine rules governing quorums.

Next IWC to be held in Panama. 2012. South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary will be first item on agenda.

IWC is a totally dysfunctional organization. It has 85 member nations, many of which do not attend the meetings or pay their dues. But a quorum is still based on 85 members, so it takes only a small group to break quorum. Reforms are desperately needed.

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